Wednesday, January 1, 2014

SharePoint 2013 Search is not working - "Search has encountered a problem that prevents results from being returned"


Happy New Year! I was working on SharePoint search where our client had a requirement on retrieving data through SharePoint search. Hopefully my upcoming posts will be related to SharePoint Search Server.

Problem Background

Suddenly my Search Service stopped working and it didn’t return results. My “Search Results” Web part show the error with the message “Search has encountered a problem that prevents results from being returned. If the issue persists, please contact your administrator.” See the screenshot below. Please note that I couldn’t capture the screenshots from my server and the screenshots are taken from the net.

Then when I try to open Search Service Application there also, I was able to see some error message.

Under “System Status (Name of Search application service => search administration => System Status)”; “Searchable items” showed “All Errors”.

And also Search Application Topology showed a error message as 
“Search Issue Unable to load the topology from the Search Administration component”. Ideally this should show something like this (See the below Screenshot).

When I try to see ULS log; I got the below error log

Content Plugin can not be initialized - list of CSS addresses is not set.

Solution Background

The issue is that SharePoint Search is unable to load the topology from the Search Administration component.

Solution 01

Recreate the Search Service Application using the Central Administration

Solution 02

The first Option didn't work for me. So I created the Search Service Application through the PowerShell which worked fine. Please go to the below Url and you can find the script to create service application from the scratch.


There are plenty of suggestions on msdn. Please check for this solution as well. If this works say thanks to Maximilian Melcher (


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks for the solution. Happy to have a comment on my blog from u Max :)

  2. Hi

    It has been solved after I have insured that all the application pools are started and the identity for them are same of search service account.

  3. Hi All,
    For me below link helped:

    To bring the search application in Idle state do stop the search service and crwals which are running.